Dubai:Etihad Airways said on Wednesday it has commenced legal proceedings in a London court against the administrators of Air Berlin.
The move comes after Air Berlin’s administrators in December 2018 filed a case against Etihad, claiming up to €2 billion (Dh8.34 billion) in damages from the Abu Dhabi-based carrier for violation of obligations.
Etihad said that case, which was filed in a German court, falls under English law and should be settled in an English court, adding that the case has “no basis.”
“The case [against Etihad] is without merit, and the disputed matters are, by prior agreement between the parties, subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts,” Etihad said. “European law therefore requires that the dispute be determined by the English court and the proceedings in Berlin be dismissed.”
The airline said it was confident it will prevail.
Air Berlin’s insolvency administrator had sued Etihad in a Berlin court, saying that the carrier did not meet its financial obligations towards Air Berlin. Etihad had until the end of January to respond to that case, according to the German court.
“Etihad seeks declaration of non-liability from the English court, as the court with exclusive jurisdiction over the dispute,” Etihad said.
A company spokesperson explained via email that filing the case in Berlin was a “breach of a jurisdiction agreement between Etihad and Air Berlin,” under which the dispute is subject to English courts exclusively.
“Since Etihad’s initial investment in Air Berlin as a UK public company, our relationship has been formally governed by the English law and has been subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts,” the spokesperson said.
“Therefore, the High Court in London is the proper venue for this dispute.”